Aloe Vera Ineffective Against Radiation-Induced Inflammation in Cancer Patients

September 8, 2004

1 Min Read
Aloe Vera Ineffective Against Radiation-Induced Inflammation in Cancer Patients

STANFORD, Calif.--Oral administration of aloe vera may not prevent inflammation of mucous membranes in head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy, according to a study published in the September issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics (60, 1:171-7, 2004) (www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03603016).

In the single-institution, double blind, prospective, randomized trial, 58 head-and-neck cancer patients who had received radiotherapy were randomized between oral aloe vera and placebo. The subjects were examined biweekly for mucositis at 15 head-and-neck subsites and administered quality-of-life questionnaires. At baseline, patients in the aloe and placebo groups were statistically identical; at the end of treatment, the two groups were also statistically identical in maximal grade of toxicity, duration of mucositis, quality-of-life scores, percentage of weight loss, use of pain medications, hydration requirements, oral infections and prolonged radiation breaks.

The researchers concluded oral aloe vera was not a beneficial adjunct to head-and-neck radiotherapy as it did not improve tolerance to head-and-neck radiotherapy, reduce mucositis, decrease soreness or otherwise improve patient well-being.

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